DeLay conviction overturned
September 19th, 2013
11:22 AM ET
5 years ago

DeLay conviction overturned

(CNN) - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's conviction on money laundering charges was overturned Thursday by a court in Texas.

DeLay, who was once one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill, was convicted in 2010 for allegedly trying to influence Texas elections by trying to channel nearly $200,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the state legislature, which is prohibited by Lone Star state law. Delay, who served more than two decades in the House before resigning in 2006, was sentenced to three years in prison.

"Because we conclude that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's convictions, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal," said an opinion from the District Court of Travis County, Texas.

DeLay was visiting Capitol Hill on Thursday. He was praying in the House chapel when his phone rang and his lawyer told him the news, a source close to DeLay told CNN.

DeLay then headed over to lunch with his former colleagues in the Texas delegation at their weekly lunch.

"He said he felt vindicated," Rep. Randy Neugebauer told CNN as he left the lunch.

The U.S. Department of Justice ended its own investigation of Delay in 2010 without filing any criminal charges against the former congressman. He has been free on bail pending appeal of his conviction.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

Filed under: Tom DeLay
soundoff (468 Responses)
  1. Useless GOP

    Texas court overturns a Texas politicians crime......shocker.

    September 19, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. decol

    Just the "good ol'boys" taking care of the "good ol' boys"--nothing new

    September 19, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. smgordon

    only the privaledged few can get away with breaking laws

    September 19, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. clark

    Knew that was coming.....ties with corrupt evangelicals and israeli firsters-he has sold his soul for Money.

    September 19, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Robb

    this should shock no one! Politicians have made themselves above the law for quite some time. I mean really look into the Clintons, examine what Charlie Rangel did and his position, Really check into Reid and Pelosi. If you check most, if not all politicians closely enough you will see they ALL do shady things, yet never stand trial or conviction for any of it!

    September 19, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Now they can make the movie "The Hammer" starring Chris Cooper as his evil twin Tom DeLay

    September 19, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Tom

    Is an appellate court supposed to make a trial court decision of acquittal or are they suppose to affirm the lower court decision or throw out the decision and send it back to the trial court to retry or dismiss? Seems like this appellate court overstepped it's bounds by entering an acquittal instead of just throwing out the trial court's decision and sending it back to a Jury of his peers. I guess all of the members of the Jury who found him guilty and their decision that the evidence was sufficient beyond a reasonable doubt means nothing to the appellate court. Interesting that a high profile corruption trial decision is taken away from the common juror and put in the hands of wealthy judges to overturn and enter an acquittal so that good ole boy Tommy can run around all of Texas proclaiming his innocence!!!

    September 19, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Concerned WV

    Well go figure just another crooked politician getting away with it. Its time America we stand up and stop all the crookedness in our govt.

    September 19, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Rob

    It isn't difficult to see bias in many comments. Why not wait to read the decision? There were many significant legal issues raised about this very political and weak prosecution. And, if the prosecution feels they proceeded lawfully they can appeal this to the highest court.
    Of course someone can always say that the highest court is also political disposed toward conservatives. In which case I say you can never make some folks happy.

    September 19, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. tommy mack

    Wait, didn't A.G. Alberto Gonzales have to resign for "politicizing" the selection of judges in the Justice Department... and then they afterwards concluded, "Though it was ethically wrong, we shouldn't fire the one that were hired." And now one of these has tossed out a case that was blatant? Well played!

    September 19, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Google DeLay and Marianas, if you really want to know the man.

    September 19, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. BeverlyNC

    Republican justice – pay for Judges, appoint Judges based on their politics to rule favorably for the rich, the powerful, and the corporations.

    There is no law, no justice, no balance of fairness wherever Republicans have political control. They always scream about the Constitution but ignore the parts that do not fit their version of freedom and justice – just as they ignore the Bible and only cherry-pick verses to justify their inhumanity, prejudice, hate of those they see as worthless, and ignore completely the teachings of Jesus.

    Just as they live in the past politically, they also only live in the OLD Testament and ignore both the true words of the Bible and the Constitution.

    We should throw Republicans out of our Houses of Government just as Jesus threw out those who were cheating and defiling the House of God.

    September 19, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Steve

    Texas has become quite the punchline.

    September 19, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Jimh77

    Can only happen in American Politics. Politicians = Criminals that are above the law.. America is corrupt.

    September 19, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. richunix

    Wow what a real shocker, isn’t this the same guy who pushed through the Texas state legislator gerrymandering and appointed cronies, I mean fellow republican to Judgeship. Just wanted to make sure we are talking about the same crook, I mean politician.

    September 19, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Bill

    As a Texan I would expect no less, particularly with a Republican involved. Elected Judges know who there friends are. This is just another example of Texas politics.

    September 19, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. jeff wayne

    So I wonder which judge got paid the most for his vote ...

    September 19, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Why am I not surprised? I guess the judge was a big fan of Mr. Delay's Dancing With The Stars routines. This goes to show you how corrupt our judicial system is. It only works in favor of the powerful and elite.

    September 19, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Dennis

    Conviction was overturned,yet he is still guilty of being the little slimeball that he is.You couldn't even pardon someone as low as this either.His name should be legally changed from Tom DeLay to Tom DeLow.Very low,in fact.

    September 19, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. samsart

    Proof positive the 'good ole boy' mindset is alive and well. Money talks, and there are plenty of people who listen.

    September 19, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. Jules

    The evidence was legally insufficient says an elected Texas judge. Hogwash! It appears corrupt politicians stick together.

    September 19, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Bill Carney

    As anything else in America justice is controlled and paid for by the wealthy, self-appointed elite and influential. Keep on electing and/or allowing this same class of people to be appointed to represent you America and you'll find yourself soon writing to your representative in the Cayman Islands or similar tax-sheltered utopia for the greedy elite!

    September 19, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Lucy

    Very sorry no one saw Cactus Jack to understand on a citizen level how wrong this overturn really is....I am ashamed I am a native Texan recently for the 1st time in my life, and damn near ashamed to be called an American..what happened to us?

    September 19, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Warren

    This should surprise no one if they know the politics of Texas. Stupid is as stupid does and in this case my home state makes Forrest Gump look like a genius...hell, for that matter all of Washington does too.

    September 19, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Barbara Sala

    Nothing new is right. Stuff like this makes it difficult to think of your government in good light. Now that they can manipulate elections, we will never get rid of the bad apples who run things.

    September 19, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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